Smithsonian Sets Phasers To Restore On Original Starship Enterprise The Starship Enterprise — from the original Star Trek series — has gotten a restoration fit for a real-life spacecraft. It goes on display this week at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
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Smithsonian Sets Phasers To Restore On Original Starship Enterprise

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Smithsonian Sets Phasers To Restore On Original Starship Enterprise

Smithsonian Sets Phasers To Restore On Original Starship Enterprise

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LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

OK. Let's go from the world of fine art to...

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "STAR TREK")

WILLIAM SHATNER: (As Captain Kirk) Space - the final frontier.

WERTHEIMER: "Star Trek." The iconic TV series turns 50 this year - 50. It transformed a generation of kids - presumably now adults - into Trekkies, obsessed with the futuristic adventures of Spock and Captain Kirk.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "STAR TREK")

SHATNER: (As Captain Kirk) Captain's log - stardate 1512.2. On our third day of star mapping, an unexplained cubicle object blocked our vessel's path.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

That vessel, of course, was the USS Enterprise or Starship Enterprise. And sorry to disappoint you here, but in fact, it was not life-sized. The Enterprise was actually a model - quite a large one - 11 feet long, about 200 pounds. And for several years, it was displayed in the gift shop at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum here in Washington, D.C.

MALCOLM COLLUM: From a conservator's standpoint, that is probably one of the worst places to put an artifact (laughter).

GREENE: Chief conservator Malcolm Collum led the team that conducted a meticulous restoration of the Enterprise over the last year and a half.

COLLUM: It's an iconic artifact. It needs to be preserved and treated as authentically as possible.

WERTHEIMER: The goal was to bring it back to its TV glory. One surprise, says Collum - the color. The Enterprise is not gray or white, as it looked when filmed for television.

COLLUM: In reality, it looks very green. And that's usually the thing that people balk at when they first see it.

WERTHEIMER: Presumably, the newly restored Starship Enterprise will live long and prosper, winning over visitors young and old when it opens to the public today. And this time, it will appear in the Flight Hall at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum and not in the gift shop.

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